Is Endometriosis Painful? Understanding the Types of Endo Pain

June 14, 2021
Endometriosis

Is endometriosis painful? Understanding the types of endo pain

One of the hallmark symptoms of endometriosis is pain. Whether it occurs only during a menstrual period or is more constant throughout the month, endometriosis pain is more than just period cramping. 

While endometriosis is a gynecological condition, you may feel pain in locations outside of the pelvis. For many people with endometriosis, severe pain can interfere with their ability to participate in regular events and activities, causing them to miss school or work frequently. 

 

Experiencing that type of pain isn’t normal.

Therefore, it needs be evaluated by an endometriosis specialist who understands how to recognize the condition’s symptoms.

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Why Is Endometriosis Painful?

Endometriosis is a gynecological condition that occurs when cells typically found in the lining of the uterus grow and implant in areas outside the uterus. 

Just as the uterine lining sheds and bleeds during a menstrual cycle, endometriosis lesions may also shed and bleed along with your cycle. However, because endometriosis is growing outside the uterus, the shedding tissue typically has no place to exit the body. 

The trapped tissue can cause the following symptoms to occur: 

Endometriosis can also lead to the formation of adhesions, which are bands of scar tissue that can cause organs in the pelvis to adhere to each other. In some cases, adhesions may cause no symptoms, but in others, they can cause severe pain and discomfort in the organs that become stuck together.

Types of Endometriosis Pain

Depending on the location of endometriosis lesions, pain can occur in various areas—most commonly in and around the pelvis.

Endometriosis leg pain: Though rare, endometriosis can affect the sciatic nerve in some cases, causing pain that radiates down the leg.

Endometriosis hip pain: Patients with leg pain from endometriosis may experience pain in one or both hips, also caused by endometriosis lesions on or around the sciatic nerve.

Endometriosis lower back pain: Caused by the sciatic nerve involvement, some patients with endometriosis may experience lower back pain. Lesions can spread to spine areas, causing localized pain that a chiropractor or orthopedic surgeon can’t solve.

Endometriosis bowel pain: One of the most commonly affected organs in cases of endometriosis is the bowel. Lesions on the bowel can cause painful bowel movements, constipation, or diarrhea, symptoms that are often misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Endometriosis pelvic pain: Pelvic pain is the symptom most associated with endometriosis and may occur only during menstrual periods or be present consistently throughout the month. Chronic pelvic pain can significantly impact patients’ quality of life and mental health.

Endometriosis pain during sex: One of the less talked about symptoms of endometriosis is pain during sex. Certain positions can sometimes cause sharp or stabbing pain if endometriosis lesions are present around the uterus, cervix, or bowel.

 

In addition to pain, endometriosis can cause other symptoms, including:

Bloating: Some patients with endometriosis may experience painful abdominal bloating, which often accompanies gastrointestinal issues.

Patients may perceive abdominal bloating as weight gain.

Gastrointestinal issues: Endometriosis on or around the bowel can cause gastrointestinal problems that often mimic IBS, including diarrhea, constipation, and cramping.

Nausea: Endometriosis-related period cramps and pelvic pain can be so intense that they lead to nausea and vomiting.

Painful ovulation: In some cases, endometriosis can cause painful ovulation (the process that occurs when an ovary releases an egg), especially when lesions implant on one or both ovaries.

 

CIGC Understands Endometriosis Pain

Because pain and its different locations can indicate various conditions, general physicians often dismiss or misdiagnose endometriosis-related pain. 

But if pain and other symptoms tend to occur or grow more severe during your menses, an evaluation by a GYN specialist may provide more accurate answers.

CIGC surgical specialists are experts in diagnosing and treating gynecological causes of pain, like endometriosis. 

The most important factor in resolving endometriosis pain is working with a highly skilled specialist at CIGC who can give you a definitive diagnosis. 

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